When’s the last time you used Google to search for an advertisement?
Never? Me neither.
You and I are like the rest of the internet-using world and tend to use the Web to seek out information about specific products or topics. If a relavent ad is delivered to us during our search, so be it. But we’re far more likely to click on content that promises to provide answers to our questions.
Does your business produce and publish content that provides guidance to curious minds? It’s never too late to start, and it’s easier than you might think. Here are four content marketing tips for small businesses you can start using to increase audience engagement:
Create a content calendar — and stick to it
Consistency is key to building audience and brand presence. But how on Earth are you going to find time to write and publish content when you’re already working 40-plus-hour weeks just to keep your business afloat?
Maintaining a content calendar makes blogging (and other forms of content creation) manageable. Similar to the other calendars in your life, a content calendar allows you to plan ahead — and see what’s coming — to avoid stretching yourself too thin during particularly busy times of the day, week, month or year.
Use a free tool like Google Calendar or whichever calendar application is built into your smartphone or computer operating system. Set advance reminders for each entry to trigger your work. Easy!
Keep it simple
Don’t overthink it. Keep a list of topics that are important or trending in your industry. Be as specific or as general as you want — just make sure the topics are relevant to your business and help establish you/your brand as a leader or expert.
Once you’ve settled on a topic for a particular blog post or article, start typing. Keep your language and messaging simple — that means avoiding jargon and hyper-technical or industry-specific terminology that could confuse your message and turn away potential readers (and customers). Everyone appreciates succinct, to-the-point writing.
Speak to your experience and expertise
Weaving first-hand experiences into your writing legitimizes your expertise while forging a personal connection between you and your readers. And it’s that personal connection that helps turn audiences into customers. Don’t you feel better buying something from someone you know? Think of your content creation in those terms — your writing provides a unique opportunity to forge a relationship between you and everyone in the world who has access to the internet and an interest in your industry. That’s powerful.
This one’s more important than you might imagine. Social media and other digital publishing platforms give everyone a voice as well as an audience. And while it varies by industry and subject matter, content written with personality can humanize a business. As a runner, I’ve often heard the maxim that smiling while you run is the best way to get through a difficult workout. Try smiling while you write — you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your mood as well as the tone of the message that emerges from your keyboard.
What helps you write business-specific content? Use the comment section below to share your tried-and-true strategies. And while we’re on the subject, check out these other content marketing tips.